It has been a decade since the last dedicated report on the results of SLAP tears on overhead athletes. Since then, techniques and approaches to repairs have evolved. Returning high level throwers back to pre-injury level can be variable after repair. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the mid-term results of arthroscopic repair of SLAP lesions in throwing athletes.
A retrospective review of 31 patients with symptomatic type II SLAP tears who underwent arthroscopic repair of the superior labrum between 2003 and 2007 was performed. Patients were operated on by two surgeons at the same institution following the same rehabilitation protocol. Patients with other pathologic shoulder findings were excluded. The outcome of treatment was evaluated using the American Shoulder and Elbow Society (ASES) scoring system and the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic (KJOC) Shoulder and elbow score. Also, the length of time to return and how successfully the athletes returned to play was evaluated. There were 23 male patients and 8 female patients with a mean age of 28.6. Twenty-one patients participated in baseball or softball at a high school level or above and the remainder of patients was involved in football, javelin, or tennis. The average follow-up was 4.3 years (minimum 12 months). All arthroscopic repairs were performed with suture anchors numbering ranging from one to three anchors (average = 2.2).
Repairs resulted in validated ASES scores comparable to prior studies (ASES = 88). The KJOC score in the throwing population averaged at 77. On average, throwers perception was they returned to about 85% of their pre-injury level of function with a mean time to return to play of 10 months. Patients reported an overall satisfaction rate of 94% with the procedure with the majority being very satisfied.
Arthroscopic SLAP repairs show excellent results with worse outcome in throwers. Our study found throwers have a successful outcome with a high rate of satisfaction and return to pre-injury level.
© 2010 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.